Shire of Broome election: Harold Tracey

Written on the 18 October 2017

Shire of Broome election: Harold Tracey

Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry
2017 Shire Election Candidate Questionnaire
Name: Harold Tracey

Q. Describe in your own words the core function of the Shire of Broome?
The most important function for the Shire, other than its administrative role, is setting the agenda for investment and economic growth.

The Shire delivers many important services including maintaining infrastructure such as roads and foot paths, providing community amenities such as BRAC and the soon to commence BRAC bike precinct.

On another level the Shire has a key role in promoting and attracting investment and government funding and with the right Council can be very effective in doing so.

Q. Describe in your own words the core function of a Shire Councillor?
The function of a shire councillor is to ensure good governance and performance in relation to the shires delivery of its services on behalf of its residents and ratepayers.

Councillors are responsible for sensible financial management and resource control, a big part of this is ensuring rate rises are kept to a minimum. I have been actively involved in reducing our annual rate rises from an average of 6.7% down to 1.88% for the last couple of years. Rates are a huge expense for families and small businesses and need to be kept in check. Sometimes this means making difficult decisions

Councillors are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the shire and should be actively engaged is setting and changing local government policies to ensure the Shire is operating in a way that creates opportunities and activity, not just adhering to policy because that's the way it's always been. My time in business has taught me that any organisation needs to be flexible and able to react to different economic conditions.
I have, and will be working to see that a culture of 'What can we do to help?' is established across the Shire.

Q. In the Chamber's recent business survey, 53% of respondents said they do not believe that the Shire is small business friendly. What do you think the Shire of Broome can do to improve conditions and support for local businesses?
Time is money especially in small business. There is no denying that red tape takes up a huge amount of time and resources and that local government undoubtedly adds to this burden significantly. Time spent on duplication to satisfy multiple departments is time that can be spent looking for new customers or being productive. Streamlining paperwork requirements and application processes will go a long way to reducing this burden.
On a different level, attracting more economic activity to the town such as supporting events that bring visitors to town and generate revenue opportunities for small businesses is an important function for the Shire as is trying to create a more stable economy by attracting projects and services that operate 12 months a year.

Q. It is expected that capital works on the Chinatown Revitalisation will be happening for a large part of 2018, what would you do to ensure that the local retailers are not adversely affected by the disruption in the peak trading periods?

Major projects in Perth recently have demonstrated how important it is to keep disruption to shopfronts during peak trading times at a minimum. I am very conscious of this fact.  Making sure all potentially effected local retailers are fully aware of the program and prioritise the milestones of the revitalisation in an appropriate time that will minimise any impact on traders.

Q. What's your thoughts on the sealing of Cape Leveque Rd, and do you believe this will change the dynamics of business in Broome and the Dampier Peninsula?

Sealing of the Cape Leveque Road is very necessary and will improve life for people who live and do business on the Dampier Peninsula. Sealing the road will make the road safer for residents and travellers, improve service delivery and open up more business opportunities, especially in tourism.

Q. With regard to Cape Leveque Road, what efforts would you like to see in working with Traditional Owners and alleviating red tape - having foresight to put measures in place to help fast track approvals when needed and creating more self-sustainable communities?

Sealing of the Cape Leveque Road will no doubt change the dynamics of the Dampier Peninsula. It is very likely that there will be a steady increase in visitors to the Dampier Peninsula which will put pressure on existing businesses to meet the growing demand.

There is at least 18 months before we see any major changes to the road. This gives us time to consult and engage effectively with these communities and businesses to see what opportunities exist, what the barriers to success are and what needs to be done to effectively manage more people in the region safely for residents and the environment.

Q. Where do you sit in regard to mining and tourism - How do you perceive the balance of these two industries; 50/50, 70/30, 80/20 etc.?

It isn't possible to prescribe a perfect balance but I don't back away from mining and resources being a. important part of our region's economy and will encourage these opportunities if they meet environmental standards, maintain a respectful relationship with traditional owners and can demonstrate a commitment to providing local jobs and using local suppliers.

Mining is a 12 month a year industry that provides year round demand for supplies and services and income for its employees.
Tourism has and will always been an important part of Broome's economy and a lot of what the shire does is designed to support that industry. I am more than confident that both industries can co-exist and provide on-going employment opportunities for our region.   

Q. What's your opinion on economic growth and development of the future of Broome and the Kimberley?
This region needs economic growth. We are too reliant on government services and projects for employment. We need to actively encourage more private investment. Agriculture and education are still in their infancy in terms of what is possible for this region and there is certainly room for growth in our creative and tourism industries.
Broome is an amazing place with a great community and great potential to provide opportunities for people to build healthy and fulfilling lives. I'm proud to have trained over 25 tradespeople and to be currently employing over 50 people. It is a huge responsibility and one I take very seriously.

Q. Do you have a plan (or ideas) for lobbying more support from state and federal government?
An open and constructive relationship with State and Federal governments is vital to ensuring Broome is not left off the map when services, investment and infrastructure projects are planned. Receiving government investment is nothing more than a competition for attention from Ministers and their Departments who are responsible for these decisions. Getting in front of these Ministers and having the right people stating our case in an effective and collaborative way is the key to getting what we want and need.
There have been improvements in this area in recent years and, along with the change of government, we are starting to see benefits for Broome.

This is also why I have chosen to run alongside Catherine Marriott. Catherine has already proven to be an effective advocate for Broome by encouraging the WA Minister for Agriculture to move an important beef program to Broome.

Q. On a personal level, why do you live in Broome and what do you love about the Kimberley lifestyle.
I was born here, my kids were born here and my business is here. If I didn't love the Kimberley I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have invested so much of my time and money here. It is a great place to live with great people and an incredible natural landscape. It's my home and I'm proud to work towards making it a better place for everyone that lives here.

Q. What celebrity do you most identify with, and why?
I don't really identify with many celebrities, I look to my amazing wife for inspiration on how to get things done.

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